Seeing A Video Game Instruction Manual In 2019 Makes Me So Happy

Illustration for article titled Seeing A Video Game Instruction Manual In 2019 Makes Me So Happy

No matter how good or bad sexy pinball game Senran Kagura Peach Ball turns out, I will always remember it for the kindness of providing me a tiny manual in these days of physical video game instruction scarcity.

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My love of video game manuals is well-documented. Years ago, during the launch of the Wii U, I wrote an article titled “I Miss Game Manuals So Much I’d Pay Extra For One.” I stand by that post. There is nothing like popping the plastic on a new game, cracking the shell, and inhaling the heady scent of ink and glossy paper. There was a time when all games came with these tiny information-packed booklets. Part of my game-purchasing ritual was stopping at a restaurant after the game store to thumb through manuals while fueling up. Even the silliest games came with colorful reading material. Now it seems like it’s only the silliest games that do.

Illustration for article titled Seeing A Video Game Instruction Manual In 2019 Makes Me So Happy
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I’d say Marvelous’ Senran Kagura series is a guilty pleasure, but I don’t feel guilty. The series is completely absurd, in case the latest installment’s furry ninja pinball theme didn’t make that clear. I embrace this racy weirdness, and now the series has paid me back in the form of a tiny booklet.

And the booklet is super tiny, maybe three inches tall, and that’s fine. A big deal was made during the turn of the decade about doing away with game manuals in order to save trees. Surely no one would miss the sad little trees needed to make such a minuscule manual.

Illustration for article titled Seeing A Video Game Instruction Manual In 2019 Makes Me So Happy

Maybe I don’t know how things like forestry and papermaking work. What I do know is that tiny colorful booklets reek of new-game joy and make cases feel just a little bit weightier on store shelves.

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Wait, what’s this?

Illustration for article titled Seeing A Video Game Instruction Manual In 2019 Makes Me So Happy
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Oh wow, stickers! These are going on the kids’ backpacks.

Kotaku elder, lover of video games, keyboards, toys, snacks, and other unsavory things.

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DISCUSSION

conker1985
Conker1985

Man do I miss proper physical content in games. Hell, even collector’s editions rarely come with any sort of packed in manual. A good 25% of my PC games are imported from the UK because of how so few are even made available on disc here in the States these days. I was pissed when my copy of FO76 had little more than a cardboard cutout with a code on it. At least EA is “kind” enough to tell you right on the box “no disc inside.”

I’m curious as to what will come with the base copy of Cyperpunk 2077. The Witcher 2 and 3 both had a ton of cool physical stuff packed into the standard editions, and I’m hoping CDPR continues that trend, because I’m not really in the mood to shell out $250 for the collector’s edition just to get something more than a case and disc.